Hamilton wins tyre battle as McLaren delight in Canada 1-2
McLaren won a tyre gamble on Sunday as they got their second one-two finish in a row from Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, in an action-packed Canadian Formula One Grand Prix, dpa reported.
Hamilton claimed the championship lead ahead of the title holder Button with his 13th career victory, from the pole position, on the site where he won his first race back in 2007.
Hamilton overtook an ailing Red Bull of Mark Webber in the 49th lap and never looked back for victory in 1 hour 33 minutes 53.456 seconds for 70 laps, while Button snatched second place with a great passing move on Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso in the 55th.
Two weeks after a collision of their drivers in Turkey, Red Bull was again on the losing side with Sebastian Vettel fourth and Webber fifth after their own tyre gamble did not lead to victory.
Hamilton, who won the Turkey race from Button, leads the standings with 109 points from eight of 19 races. Button has 106 and Webber dropped from first to third with 103 points. Alonso and Vettel follow on 94 and 90 points, respectively.
The race took a heavy toll on the tyres as most favourites made their two pit stops before the halfway mark and then had to look after their rubbers in the end. Webber was not awarded for a long second stint as the hard tyres did also not do as well as expected.
Hamilton, who got pole on soft tyres, won the start from Vettel while a little further back Vitantonio Liuzzi's Force India and the Ferrari of Felipe Massa touched a few times and spun through the first turns, but both could continue.
A few other cars touched as well but the safety car did not have to come out.
Webber battled Button and managed to pass him in the fifth lap as the McLaren soft tyres started to grain very soon, forcing Button into the pits in the sixth lap and Hamilton in the seventh.
Alonso joined Hamilton for a tyre change and the two almost collided exiting their pit boxes, but escaped without damage. In 2008, Hamilton drove into Kimi Raikkonen in the pit lane and had to retire.
Alonso won that battle but Hamilton finally squeezed past the Spaniard in the 15th and was back in the lead as the Red Bulls had by then also changes tyres, with Vettel on soft ones and Webber on a another set of hard rubbers.
The race sttled into a quieter phase, but only for around 10 laps as most drivers came in for a second stop long before the halfway mark of the 70-lap race.
Webber stayed out much longer but a big lead was cut by Hamilton, Alonso and Button, and Hamilton got past the struggling Aussie heading into the 49th lap. There was more aggrivation for Red Bull as Vettel was told by the team they were "managing an issue."
Webber finally went into the pits for a final set of soft tyres which dropped him into fifth place, and the McLaren joy was complete when Button got ahead of Alonso to complete another one-two.
The next race is the European GP on June 27 in Valencia.